John Harbaugh, Mr. Baltimore Ravens, is getting ready to face off in Super Bowl XXVII against his brother Jim Harbaugh. The tag of the game is Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh, but who are they kidding? John Harbaugh can only dream of being the better man on Super Bowl Sunday. He has never played the game at a professional level, and that type of experience goes a long way when it comes to winning it all in the NFL.
To his credit, John has done a very good job in Baltimore, considering he was given a championship squad from the start. He didn’t have a young and somewhat dysfunctional team waiting for him when he exited the college level. Thus, experience has more to do with the players than the head coach, which is a weakness not strength, for John Harbaugh. Never playing the game, learning from on the field experience, it’s a value that can’t be ignored and it won’t be when the final points are scored in two weeks.
Jim Harbaugh has that credit, despite his career record as a starting QB; he was at the helm of four teams (Bears, Colts, Ravens, and Chargers). The games he wasn’t starting he was on the sidelines with the clip board picking some of the greatest minds to ever coach the game. John Harbaugh never played nor learned from Mike Ditka, Lindy Infante, and Brian Billick. He didn’t get to also pick the minds of the offensive coordinators from those regimes, all of which fall to the experiences of Jim Harbaugh.
Jim Harbaugh entered as the 49ers head coach to a team of misfits. Set to quickly install his method of discipline, as taught by the coaches outlined above, he made his mark immediately by drafting Aldon Smith (19.5 sacks this season) in the 1st round of the 2011 draft, and then using the 2nd round pick on the latest franchise quarterback, Colin Kaepernick.
After spending a season and a half tinkering with his roster on offense, he picked one last mind of an offensive genius while coaching at Stanford, former Nevada coach Ault and his unpredictable Pistol Offense, which only made sense with the drafting of Kaepernick, who set collegiate QB records that won’t be broken any time soon, if at all.
Harbaugh’s defense plays with the strict discipline as if Ditka was handling the whip himself. Once again, John Harbaughs defense plays the same level it’s been for 10 years, with virtually the same roster of key players. Ray Lewis is more the defensive coordinator of that unit, he’s the heart of that team, you don’t have to install discipline when it’s already set, but this is the Super Bowl we are discussing, to where a player has an off game, there’s an entire depth of positional players eager to prove they can step in an step up!
The problem here is when a coach has an off game, who substitutes for him? The likelihood a well trained coach like Jim Harbaugh will have an off game, in comparison to his brother across the field, is minimal. That lack of experience is going to be critical on Super Bowl Sunday in two weeks. John Harbaugh was given a stock team, while Jim built his stock from scratch and put it together piece by piece like a puzzle master. The final score will reflect only one thing, that Jim Harbaugh OWNS John Harbaugh!